Wind Energy

Briefly Noted … Worldwide Renewable Energy News

– Spanish automotive and aeronautics components manufacturer Gamesa, Catalan savings bank La Caixa d’Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona, with 12 financial institutions, have signed a syndicated loan of 78 million euros (US$65 million) to build and operate new windfarms in Spain. The wind power division, Gamesa Eolica, will build the 580 to 660 kW turbines. – A 425 MW windfarm may install 197 turbines off Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts, according to Industrial Information Resources of Houston. The first offshore windfarm in the U.S. would be located four miles off the coast, in an area of 28 square miles, at a cost of US$500 million. If approved, the project would start construction in 2004 and be complete within two years. Denmark has two offshore windfarms in operation and plans to generate 40 percent of its total electricity from offshore sites by 2030. Industrialinfo.com says the global potential for offshore windfarms is 3,500 MW, representing a cost of $4 billion. – Fourteen 2 MW wind turbines will be built over the next two years at a new windfarm on the western side of the port of Zeebrugge. The contract was awarded to Belgium’s electricity producer SPE and Denmark’s Vestas Wind. The consortium won the tender over five other candidates, to provide electricity for 25,000 homes. – A wind turbine manufacturer in New Zealand plans to have its first turbine operating within 12 months. Windflow Technology says it will manufacture up to ten turbines in the second year, of which six will be for a windfarm. Generators will be imported, but gearbox, tower and other components will be manufactured locally or in Australia. The 500 kW two-bladed turbine will be the first to combine a patented torque limiting gearbox system of power control and the pitch regulated two-bladed teetering rotor. Officials say the combination allows substantial reductions in fatigue loads and results in weight and cost reductions of 50 percent, compared with comparable windmills. The company recently raised Aus$2.5 million from 450 investors, and expects to create 300 jobs within five years. The City of Christchurch will purchase the output from the first turbine. – The Spanish company Gamesa is targeting a 24 percent rise in net profit next year, with a decline in its aeronautics division compensated by a 64 percent rise at its wind energy unit, Gamesa Eolica. It says 2001 profits will rise 37 percent to US$50 million, and its 2002-2004 strategic plan targets a 26 percent increase in profit by focusing on consolidation of its position in wind energy and gaining a foothold in manufacturing activities related to other renewable energies. Between 2002-2004, it wants to increase Gamesa Eolica’s share of the world wind power market from the current 13 percent, by 1 percent each year. – Gamesa has won an order to supply Guascor Energia with wind turbines, generating 1,000 MW of power over the 2002-2005 period. The value of the order was not stated, but the turbines are to be installed across Spain at a rate of 250 MW capacity a year. Gamesa says the contract is the second largest after its agreement with Spain’s EHN Group last year. The news came on the same day that Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas sold its 40 percent stake in the Gamesa Eolica wind unit to the Gamesa Group holding company, for US$250 million. – The American Corn Growers Association co-host a wind energy workshop in Chicago that attracted 400 people, making it the largest wind workshop held in the midwest. Representatives of agriculture, city and state governments, wind developers and farmers were told that ACGA considers Illinois a prime wind energy location and, with corn prices at new lows, wind has the potential to realize both economic and environmental advantages for family farmers and rural communities.

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